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2001 collection of modern guitar-based Blues including cuts from legends such as Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent Blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang.
A good introduction to modern guitar-based blues, Pure Blues features classics by Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. While attributing classic status to Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn" may chafe some purists, this comp clearly wasn't intended for the die-hard blues fanatic. But as an introduction, it illustrates the blues tradition and its influence on rock (and rock's influence on the blues) quite nicely. For fans of the Allman Brothers (whose version of Blind Willie McTell's classic "Statesboro Blues" is included) or Eric Clapton's work with Derek & the Dominos or for dad at Christmas, this would make a good gift. Also, if this manages to inspire anyone to pick up Etta James's classic Tell Mama set, the folks at UTV will have done the world a service. --Mike Johnson
|Essential Chicago Blues
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NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILE
|Classic Appalachian Blues from Smithsonian Folkways
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This compilation features musicians from the region known as the Southern Appalachians. It includes musicians from deep in the mountains as well as from the foothills leading up to them. We have selected many of the recordings from the collection of Folkways Records founder, Moses Asch. On this release as on other recent ones, we have also begun to delve into some fine recordings from another source, the 43 years of recordings from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (formerly Festival of American Folklife).
|Preachin' The Blues: The Songs of Mississippi Fred McDowell
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The best tribute to Fred McDowell is the many recordings he left behind. Arhoolie's The Best of Mississippi Fred McDowell and Capitol's I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll are fantastic, but it's still fun to hear these interpretations of the 30-years-dead daddy of contemporary Mississippi hill country blues done by contemporary artists. Charlie Musselwhite zeroes in on McDowell's magic by swapping his trademark harp for guitar to play a spare, spirit-possessed "61 Highway." Paul Geremia nails the blaze of McDowell's slide for "Get Right Church," and Anders Osborne cops Fred's mumbling singing style in "Kokomo Blues." Although Colleen Sexton's vocal for "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning" is overwrought, her band runs a nice arrangement similar to what Junior Kimbrough, one of McDowell's inheritors, might have done. Tab Benoit delivers an uncanny imitation of McDowell's guitar and vocal approach on "Train I Ride," and Austinite Sue Foley's dirty solo guitar-and-vocal treatment of "Frisco Line" may be the best thing she's ever recorded. The most interesting rendition is David Maxwell's solo piano instrumental take on "I Heard Somebody Call," which starts by abandoning everything but the naked fear and loneliness in the face of God's last judgment that McDowell gave his original. Although the rest of this disc is less inspiring, overall, it's a solid testimonial to the durability of McDowell's legacy. --Ted Drozdowski
|The Best Blues Album in the World...Ever!
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NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILE
|Best Of Chess: Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records
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The 2008 movie Cadillac Records is the story of Chess Records. The Best of Chess is the original versions of the songs used in the Cadillac Records movie starring Beyonce, Mos Def, Solange, Jeffrey Wright, Raphael Saadiq and others. Cadillac Records chronicles the history of Chess Records, the pre-eminent blues label of the 1950s and 1960s co-founded by Leonard Chess and his brother Phil. Featured songs in Cadillac Records by Etta James (played by Beyonce Knowles), Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Howlin' Wolf (Eamonn Walker) and more.
|Whole Lotta Blues: Songs of Led Zeppelin
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|30th Anniversary Collection
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Blind Pig celebrates their 30th anniversary with 33 classic audio tracks on this 2 CD set. It also includes 6 videos as well for only a single CD price. So What's not to like?
This stalwart independent label, headquartered in San Francisco, began in a small Ann Arbor club and grew into one of the most important imprints in blues. Thirty-three tunes ricochet between the potent old-school Chicago stylings of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells's classic "Hoodoo Man Blues" and Big Walter Horton'ss swinging shuffle "Put the Kettle On" to the intriguing pop-folk hybrid of Roy Rogers and Norton Buffalo and the dashing retro-nuevo guitarisms of Nick Curran & the Niteflies to the brawny Texas-schooled sounds of Omar & the Howlers and Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King. The label's Delta blues side is underrepresented, although James Cotton and Elvin Bishop offer two great flavors of cottonland grind. But what's truly perplexing is that Blind Pig's historic recordings by Luther Allison, Johnny Shines, Jimmy Rogers, Charlie Musselwhite, Boogie Woogie Red (the label's first artist), and other significant musicians are omitted, while ham-fisted blues-rockers Tommy Castro and Albert Cummings and the mediocre Deanna Bogart and Duke Tumatoe get entries. Which makes this retrospective decidedly hit-and-miss. --Ted Drozdowski
|Blues Masters, Vol. 13: New York City Blues
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The blues & jazz both draw from a wellspring of similar roots in African-American popular music & culture. The paths of each genre have diverged widely since the early 1900s, but before 1950, the styles were deeply intertwined with each other. It's a marriage that will endure to some degree as long as blues and jazz are around. The most active period of cross-fertilization between blues and jazz may have been the 1930s and 1940s, when swing and big band styles were at their peak, and when the blues was moving toward a fuller and more citified sound. Jazz was still often played in dance halls, and needed some singers and song structures to help maintain its accessibility. Blues was moving toward a more sophisticated sound that would soon encompass full bands and electricity. Each form had much to learn from the other. Several of the early big bands featured vocalists that not only borrowed from the blues in their songs and phrasing, but in turn influenced the evolution of other bluesmen. Jimmy Rushing, in his work with Count Basie, may have been the first notable blues-based singer to front a big band with a precursor to the "shouting" style. This was developed to its fullest shortly afterwards by singers with Kansas City-based swing bands, including Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Walter Brown. Along w;the shouters the main tributary of blues feeding into jazz was found in the boogie-woogie pianists of the late '30s and early '40s. The famed Spirituals To Swing concerts in New York City's Carnegie Hall in the late 1930s found the marriage between the idioms at their peak featuring the wild sax solo of Illinois Jacquet in Lionel Hampton's "Flying Home" rates as a leading forerunner of R&B, particularly the "honking" style of sax associated with the form. The shouters, honkers, and boogie-woogie would coalesce in the 1940s into jump blues, which in some senses was the ultimate jazz-blues fusion.
|Anthology of Boogie Woogie Piano
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The infectious rhythms of boogie woogie piano were a huge influence on Rock & Roll, and here we present original masters Albert Ammons, Meade "Lux" Lewis, Pete Johnson, Clarence "Pine Top" Smith, Blind Leroy Garnett, Jimmy Yancey, Montana Taylor, and more.
- Jazz music CD
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